inside Sundance’s true-Secret Brett Kavanaugh Documentary - Rolling Stone

A collective eyebrow became raised when the 2023 Sundance film pageant introduced a last-minute addition to the lineup: Justice, a documentary probing the allegations of sexual misconduct in opposition t Supreme court docket Justice Brett Kavanaugh. That the movie marked the first documentary directed via Doug Liman, the man behind Swingers and The Bourne identity, and became produced through Amy Herdy, an ex-journalist and key researcher for the documentaries Allen v. Farrow and On the record, only piqued curiosity extra. Would the film comprise new claims in opposition t Kavanaugh beyond what emerged during and round his explosive listening to in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee? Or possibly offer new facts corroborating the debts of girls who'd already come ahead against Kavanaugh alleging a variety of sexual misconduct, including Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick?

Justice debuted on Jan. 20 to a skill crowd of 295 americans at Sundance's Park Avenue Theatre, together with a couple of dozen members of the press. Liman made his whole crew sign NDAs and financed the venture himself as a way to maintain it absolutely beneath wraps.

And the film raises extra questions than it solutions.

It opens with Liman seated on a couch across from Christine Blasey Ford, who questions him about why he, a Hollywood director, wanted to make this film. most effective the back of Ford's head is seen, and she doesn't appear on-camera again, save archival pictures of her effective testimony. In a put up-screening Q&A, Liman observed that he selected no longer to encompass new photos of Ford in an effort to spare her the delivered scrutiny and threats. Swetnick, in the meantime, goes unmentioned.

lots of the movie's consideration considerations Deborah Ramirez, who instructed the brand new Yorker's Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer that while a freshman at Yale in 1983, "Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a drunken dormitory birthday party, thrust his penis in her face, and brought about her to touch it devoid of her consent as she pushed him away." She repeats those allegations all the way through a sit down-down interview in Justice. (Kavanaugh has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct.)

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whereas the FBI spoke with Ramirez as part of their one-week "restricted scope" investigation into Trump nominee Kavanaugh's alleged sexual misconduct, sooner or later concluding they found "no corroboration of the allegations [of sexual misconduct]," leading to the conservative Justice's lifetime appointment to the Supreme courtroom, Bureau agents admittedly failed to so lots as confer with a couple of individuals who either corroborated her account or had different reviews of Kavanaugh's behavior at Yale.

The largest reveal in Justice issues Max Stier, a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh's. in accordance with the e-book The schooling of Brett Kavanaugh, through big apple times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, Stier, who runs the Partnership for Public provider, a well-liked nonprofit (and nonpartisan) company in Washington, D.C., recommended senators and the FBI that he "saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm birthday party, the place pals pushed his penis into the hand of a female student," however that the FBI didn't follow up with him. Justice goes one step additional, airing an audio recording of Stier's account, which the filmmakers say became entrusted to them by an nameless source. (Stier declined to communicate to the filmmakers, as did Kavanaugh.)

"this is something that I said to my wife years ago," Stier says, earlier than going into element about how he'd heard a narrative "firsthand" of Kavanaugh's friends asking a heavily inebriated younger girl to "dangle his penis" all over a dorm birthday celebration. He also recollects on the audio an alleged episode he'd heard wherein a drunken Kavanaugh attempted to insert his penis into the mouth of a young girl at a dorm celebration whereas she changed into practically passed out on the ground from ingesting.


elsewhere in Justice, a few Yale classmates of Ramirez's specific their frustration with the FBI over failing to interview them, and even suggest that Kavanaugh's team changed into contacting Yale classmates of theirs during the inquiry to try to lead them in his path. A collection of text messages are proven within the film that seem to demonstrate Yale classmates of Kavanaugh's discussing how participants of Kavanaugh's circle had contacted them about their recollections with reference to the Ramirez allegations. considering Kavanaugh turned into adamant that he did no such thing right through his testimony earlier than the Senate Judiciary Committee, the film contends that he dedicated perjury.

greater than the rest, even though, Justice feels like a sign flare for future accusers and witnesses of Kavanaugh's alleged sexual misconduct to return forward. the clicking turned into advised that the 83-minute edition screened at Sundance changed into now not a last reduce, and Herdy and Liman advised festivalgoers right through the put up-screening Q&A that they'd bought new counsel seeing that announcing the documentary on Jan. 19, and that the movie — and their investigation — isn't yet complete.

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